Book Series Review: Soul Eaters

The synopses and reviews for books two and three contain mild spoilers to prior novels. For my overall thoughts on the series are at the bottom of this post.

Title: Cracked (Soul Eaters #1)
Author: Eliza Crewe
Date Published: November 5, 2013
Rating: 4.5/5
Date read: March 3, 2020 (reread)

Cracked follows a half-demon, half-human named Meda who believes she is the only one of her kind. One day, in the middle of one of her human meals, she runs into demons and demon hunters. Meda tricks the demon hunters into thinking she’s harmless in order to infiltrate their base and learn more about herself. 

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, the Soul Eaters series is everything I wanted the Shadow Hunter books to be. We have witty banter, kick butt characters, and interesting (not necessarily romantic) relationship dynamics. Meda is the unconventional hero of my dreams, she’s snarky, sarcastic, and knows how to get her way. She does a lot of terrible things and she doesn’t feel remorseful about it (most of the time). My favourite aspect of Cracked is the friend group that forms. These characters really have to work for their friendships and that makes them so much more believable.

Title: Crushed (Soul Eaters #2)
Date Published: August 5, 2014
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Date read: April 20, 2020 (reread)

Crushed is the second novel in the Soul Eaters trilogy. Crushed picks up a few months after the events of Cracked as Meda is poorly adjusting to life with the Crusaders. Matters aren’t helped when a certain bad boy makes an appearance and a tempting offer Meda doesn’t want to pass up. 

I can’t deny that Crushed is a filler novel, in that we pretty much end things off where we start, but I personally have never been one to hate on filler novels. I find that they tend to offer the most character development/exploration and world building, two things I love, and two things I thought were very well done in this instalment. Because of the events taking place in the novel, Meda develops a lot as a character and becomes more sympathetic towards others (to an extent, don’t worry, she’s not a completely different character by the end of this). As for the world building, it was introduced in a very natural way and at a very natural point in the story, and I thought Crewe’s use of Armand to answer main questions was brilliant.

Emotionally, Crushed is equivalent to Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix or Spider Man 2 (2004) in that we have ANGST, ANGST, ANGST a situation that is wholly frustrating for the protagonist, and it seems no one is on their side. I’m personally a sucker for this type of story line, it really pulls on my emotions, so naturally I loved where the story went. I also think the situation Meda is in is very compelling. You can’t be mad at the Crusaders for not trusting her, but at the same time their attitude and actions towards her are both infuriating and questionable and make you sympathize for her. 

The highlight of this novel for me was Jo and Meda’s relationship, it’s why I have so much love for this series, well that and Meda’s charm, and sense of humour. How often do we come across a young adult novel where the bonds between two female friends are this important to the story? There is nothing easy about their relationship, its a constant uphill battle, and yet they love and are loyal to each other. 

Title: Crossed (Soul Eaters #3)
Date Published: August 13, 2015
Rating: 4.75/5 stars
Date read: April 28, 2020 (reread)

Crossed takes place not too long after Crushed, the Crusaders have lost their base and are moving around a lot. On the bright side, after the events of the last novel they’re also more willing to work with Meda. When the Crusaders propose a crazy plan to help them get an edge over the demons, Meda is less than willing to oblige.

So we’ve finally reached the end. Meda is just as snarky and embracing of her cowardliness and sense of self-preservation as ever. There were some pretty crazy plot points that I had completely forgotten about in this instalment that were a very pleasant surprise. I do have to say that the series gets a bit repetitive in the sense that the ultimate conflict in each novel involves infiltrating the demons’ base, but it makes sense given the premise. 

As usual, the highlight of the novel for me was the characters. I especially liked where the story went with Jo’s character, her development in this novel was fantastic and brought about some really great discussions on hatred and hope. I also liked that we saw more to Chi’s character and the character development and backstory we got on Armand made me sympathize towards him a lot more. It was weird that Meda was the sense of reason in this novel, but fair. And of course I loved how Jo and Meda’s relationship was the most important relationship in the novel. My biggest complaint about this series is that Meda and Jo aren’t canon.

Final thoughts: Speaking for the series as a whole, it’s solidified its position as one of my favourites. I can’t imagine myself disliking a story where the main character constantly struggles to do what’s morally correct versus what’s in their best interests. I’ve read from a few different characters where one of their internal struggles was not succumbing to their more terrible base desires and I think Meda is one of the best depictions of this type of character. It also helps that she’s incredibly charming in a sarcastic and snarky way. If you’re looking to pick up a series with one of the best main characters ever, then this is it!

Have you read Soul Eaters? If not, do you plan to? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! 💗

Project Reread Update #3

Over the past few years my book collection has expanded a lot. Because I have a small apartment and as a result, limited shelf space, I decided I wanted to limit the number of books I have on my shelves with no reread value. Initially I thought I’d just unhaul books I’m no longer interested in, and one set of books that almost didn’t make the cut was The Boyfriend List. But then I remembered how much I loved that series growing up, so I gave it another chance, reread it, and absolutely loved it. Since then I started Project Reread, where I reread all the books on my shelves in order to give them a fair chance before potentially unhauling them. Here’s the latest set.

Title: Shadow of the Fox
Author: Julie Kagawa
First date read: December 23, 2018
First rating: 4.25/5 stars
Second date read: February 19, 2020
Second rating: 4/5 stars

Shadow of the Fox takes place in a world where every 1000 years a dragon can be summoned, using a prayer on a sacred scroll, to grant the summoner their heart’s desire. Because of the dangers of such a thing, the scroll is broken up into three pieces and hidden away. We follow a half-kitsune named Yumeko who lives at one of the temples guarding a piece of the scroll. After her temple is attacked by demons searching for the scroll, Yumeko flees the temple with the scroll, in hopes of placing it in safe hands at the mysterious and hidden Steel Feather temple. Yumeko teams up with a demon slayer to search for the temple, though said demon hunter does not know what she carries. 

I loved Shadow of the Fox the first time I read it, it reminded me a lot of an anime, which was a total throwback given that I haven’t watched anime in ages. It also had some of my favourite anime tropes, a rag tag group going on a quest that becomes a found-family? Love it. But unfortunately Shadow of the Fox also at one point has a creepy crawly villain and I did NOT enjoy rereading that. Since this reread and since reading and not loving the sequel, Soul of the Sword, I’ve decided Shadow of the Fox is not a title I want to keep on my shelves. I still really like this book but I don’t foresee myself rereading it again in the future, and if at some point I want to I’ll just borrow it from the library.

Title: Soul Eaters (Cracked, Crushed, Crossed)
Author: Eliza Crewe
First date read: March 22, 2017 – June 2, 2017
First rating: 4.5/5 stars (across the board)
Second date read: March 3, 2020 – April 28, 2020
Second rating: 4.5, 4.5, 4.75 respectively

Cracked follows a half-demon, half-human named Meda who believes she is the only one of her kind. One day, in the middle of one of her human meals, she runs into demons and demon hunters. Meda tricks the demon hunters into thinking she’s harmless in order to infiltrate their base and learn more about herself. 

With this reread the Soul Eaters series has solidified its position as one of my favourite series. I am so emotionally invested and connected to these characters and I look forward to revisiting their story again and again. I’m just never going to get enough of Meda’s snarky personality or Jo’s bad attitude.

Title: Stardust
Author: Neil Gaiman
First date read: December 25, 2015
First rating: 3.5/5 stars
Second date read: March 3, 2020
Second rating: 4/5 stars

Stardust follows a young man named Tristan who is tasked by the woman he loves, to catch a fallen star. Tristans love is unreciprocated and he hopes that by collecting this star he can win her over. In order to retrieve the star he needs to venture over the mysterious wall and into Faerie. 

Rereading Stardust was an interesting experience. I have thought about unhauling this book with the intention of repurchasing it because I don’t love the edition I own, but I ultimately cannot bring myself to do it because I buddy read this book with someone who meant a lot to me at the time, so I’m emotionally attached to my copy. As for the reread, I enjoyed it a lot more the second time around and I greatly attribute that to the fact that I listened to the audiobook instead of physically rereading it. Gaiman does an amazing job with the narration and now I have a newfound appreciate for Stardust.

Title: Emma
Author: Jane Austen
First date read: September 6, 2017
First rating: 3.75/5 stars
Second date read: March 3, 2020
Second rating: 4/5 stars

Emma follows an unconventional heroine named Emma who likes to play matchmaker. 

Technically I don’t think Emma should be on this list, because it was never a question of whether I was going to unhaul this book, I just recently bought a new edition and I love it and want to keep it on my shelves forever. But anyways, I’ve rekindled my appreciate for Jane Austen through listening to her stories as audiobooks and I am enjoying rereading her novels immensely.

Title: The Girl with a Pearl Earring
Author: Tracy Chevalier
First date read: February 6, 2016
First rating: 4.5/5 stars
Second date read: March 21, 2020
Second rating: 3.5/5 stars

The Girl with a Pearl Earring follows a young woman named Griet, who after her family comes down on hard times, is hired as a maid in the Vermeer household. Through Griet, Chevalier imagines the origins of Vermeer’s most famous work, Girl with a Pearl Earring.

And we’re ending things off today with a miss! I loved The Girl With a Pearl Earring the first time I read it. I thought there was something so magical about learning about Vermeer and getting into his head a bit. This second time around I started to question whether I’ve become an art snob or something because I did not feel that Chevalier did his paintings justice in there descriptions! I don’t see myself revisiting this story ever again, so this one’s in the unhaul pile.

Final thoughts: Again, my results were pretty mixed up this time around. I’m unhauling Shadow of the Fox (and Soul of the Sword) and The Girl With a Pearl Earring, but keeping the Soul Eaters series, Stardust, and Emma. I wasn’t too surprised by what I decided to keep on my shelves (I was relatively confident that I liked all these titles) but I was a bit surprised by what I’m unhauling.

If you’ve read any of these titles or plan to, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! 💗